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FICÇÃO

THE ORDER OF THINGS

By M. C. Desouza
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Jazz musician and composer Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club with bandleader Cab Calloway

I am satisfied with my life, but I have a single complaint about how God created me. Why was I born, not black? Being black is more exciting than being white. The men are sexy and masculine; the women are curvy and beautiful. They have good food, high culture, set trends, and make fantastic music in many different styles. They are known for athleticism, they do stuff with their hair and look unique. They come in a variety of colors, and they are accepting. And… yes, maybe I don't have the credentials to write about black music. But, I have something to say.

I believe that most people don't know that Rock is black. Yes, it is rooted in black people. Its origins consist of the blues, perhaps remote to other times, without the distortions of the long straight hair and blue eyes who promote that sound today. Of course, it was far away from the exacerbated rebellion we see in some old and new artists. Good Rock is not like that.

Maybe, it has some connection with the breezes that stimulate creativity. It does not give me the right to say that it is complete synergy with the use of licit and illicit substances.

Above all, it is the derivation of the pain of individuals who saw reality differently, or suffered discrimination, prejudice, racial assaults, and have expressed their feelings through art. Men and women, who were enslaved, showed their condition, which was an imposed condition. This condition was not the reality they deserved or the fact where they wanted to be.

​They just wanted to be humans being like any other human being. They were not perfect as all humankind is not perfect. They found something in the plantations that became prohibited and had transformed in hallucinogens and some "burning water" to fight the cold during those long days in the fields. These things were for the pain of perpetuating the pillory's message or later on in the streets after they "get rid of" the white oppression. Those things were devices to numb the pain.

Blacks, African descendants, shouted loud through the chords with thrilled and refined voices. Am I saying this in the past tense? Only on account of the foundation of things, until today, they tell us one truth that no one dares to say. Who, today, expressed the beauty of a distorted sound and history? The distorted black history is the poetry and music we find in the Blues. Which was always connected to American-Afro culture, especially those coming from the South of the U.S., from the slaves' cotton plantations who sang their pain of endless hours of work. The sensual and vigorous pace and simplicity of poems are definite traces of African personality. They portrayed them in their lyrics, mainly on daily aspects: work, oppression, love, religion, sex, and betrayal. African Americans' sound came through the hymns, shouts, work songs, field hollers, and chants. The lyrics often included subtext suggestions, protests against slavery, and even suggestions to escape slavery. Indeed the issue to pinpoint the source of some kind of art is problematic. I believe that many others could say something more detailed and profound.

In this brief text, I want to clarify the sorrow of the slaves who put out there suffering—the beauty of the chords that they often expressed what no one wanted to live.

They put together, in a way, what today thousands of people consume. The music industry still uses white supremacy to exploit what was created with sweat and blood by black slaves. We need to know that the source ran and still runs in black veins. Unprecedented, nothing surprises me. It has happened with everything that relates to African culture. Here some facts:

  • Schools have not taught the truth.

  • The most revolutionary music is not played on the radio.

  • We have left a few possibilities with the media and social networks.

 

But make no mistake; there is an absurd effort to control them too. Then… everything will be lost, at least in the field of information. In the meantime, we need to keep our voices alive. Speak loud of the origin of things, challenge the lords and masters of the world who insist and trying hard to establish the order of things.

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